On legitimacy and authority: A response to krehoff

Res Publica 14 (4):299-302 (2008)
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Abstract

In this paper I respond to Bernd Krehoff’s article ‘Legitimate Political Authority and Sovereignty: Why States Cannot Be the Whole Story’. I criticize Krehoff’s use of Raz’s theory of authority to evaluate the legitimacy of our political institutions. Krehoff argues that states cannot (always) claim exclusive authority and therefore cannot possess exclusive legitimacy. Although I agree with his conclusion, I argue that the questions of legitimacy and (Razian) authority are distinct and that we need to focus more on the former in order to really support and defend Krehoff’s conclusions.

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Bas Van Der Vossen
Chapman University

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